Small world indeed. On our zero in Dubois, we saw Cash, who we knew from PCT '10. So funny to see someone climb out of a pick up truck in some random town, and recognize them. He's headed Nobo, so we were only going to overlap in Dubois.
We decided to zero in Dubois, after some hemming and hawing. Actually quite a lot of hemming and hawing. It had been ~10 days since our last day off. The weather looked terrible, And Dubois was just a darn cool town. There were so many animal sculptures. In addition to the 2 different jackalopes (one realistic and furry, the other cartoony and fiberglass), some other highlights included a giant cow skull, a black bear, an an elk made of elk antlers.
We had a terrific stay at the Black Bear Inn, with the proprietor Liz who was exceptionally kind to us. She even invited us to her mother-in-law's 87th birthday celebration. That was my first home cooked meal on the trail, so my first in 8 weeks. There's just something about a plate of comfort food. She also had an extensive movie collection, and we watched the classics 'City Slickers' and 'Mary Poppins'. 'City Slickers' especially relevant--a few NYers looking for adventure by driving cattle from NM to CO. NM and CO are our next and last two states, and I found the scenery mesmerizing. Also, thought the movie held up well. If I end up delivering a calf, I will name him 'Norman'.
While we were at lunch at the local pizza shop, we ran into some honest to goodness cowboys, Duck and Denny. Duck was very nice to listen to all of my ridiculous questions about cowboys and wranglers. He's a buckaroo (apparently, the term comes from the Spanish word 'vaquero'), and he specializes in breaking and training horses. Fascinating guy.
Oh, and there's a fire on the trail, somewhere South of Union Pass. Since the USFS was closed, I dropped in to Windy River Gear (local outfitter), and spoke with Margot, who owns and operates the shop. She was a wonderful woman, and couldn't have been more helpful. We talked over the area of the closure, and she gave me the direct line to the local ranger. Plus, I bought a new spoon, since I dropped our spoon in a river. I know this doesn't seem like much, but I tend to get overly sentimental about gear. I was sad to lose my PCT spoon. Old Spoony, R.I.P. wherever you are. Probably tumbling headlong to the Pacific.
So, back on the trail tomorrow, and fingers crossed for the forest fire to be our, and an open trail.
p.s., the maple long johns at Village Donut are the best on the trail so far
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